Why pay $400 or more for a credit card?


a man with glasses holding a stack of money

Is any card actually worth $400 or more per year? On this week’s Frequent Miler on the Air, Greg and Nick talk about a few with benefits that can add up to an amount that exceed the cost, but you’ll ultimately want to do your own cost/benefit analysis. Ultimately, the answer here will inevitably vary depending on your ability to maximize the benefits, just make sure that you’re discounting the face value of those benefits since you’re effectively prepaying for them in the form of an annual fee.

Big news on the blog this week was that Hilton has finally officially made their free night certificates valid any night of the week, significantly improving both Hilton’s ultra-premium card and the prospect of spending to a free night certificate on their $95 card. Also read on for first impressions of Nick’s European cruise, the best offers this month, and how and where you can meet the Frequent Miler team live at upcoming events.

00:46 Giant Mailbag: ANA’s friendly change
4:55 What crazy thing….did Air Canada Aeroplan do this week?
9:51 Awards we booked this week: Greg’s United award change to New Zealand and Nick’s Marriott booking near Disneyland Paris
24:23 Why pay $400 or more for a credit card?
27:09 Capital One Venture X
33:45 Amex Platinum card
35:33 Amex Business Platinum
37:40 Chase Sapphire Reserve
39:41 US Bank Altitude Reserve
41:35 Amex Delta Reserve
43:28 United Club Infinite
46:10 American Airlines Executive Card
47:28 Chase Ritz-Carlton
50:00 Amex Bonvoy Brilliant
55:51 Amex Hilton Aspire card

Note that if the video above does not yet play, it may still be processing. Check back later.

Subscribe to our podcast

We publish Frequent Miler on the Air each week in both video form (above) and as an audio podcast. People love listening to the podcast while driving, working-out, etc. Please check it out and subscribe. Our podcast is available on all popular podcast platforms, including Apple PodcastsSpotify, and many more.

Alternatively, you can listen to the podcast online here.

This week on the Frequent Miler blog…

Hilton free weekend nights become anytime nights!

a deck with a view of the ocean

Huge news out of Hilton this week is that free night certificates like those awarded annually on their $450 ultra-premium card and for spend on the mid-tier Hilton card will now permanently be valid any night of the week. While this had been true temporarily during the pandemic, this change now sticks and has a permanent increase in the first year value of those cards that award free night certificates.

Greg’s Top Picks for October: Multiple 250K offers, 150K Platinum, and more…

a man standing in front of a stack of credit cards

The points parade marches on with multiple opportunities to score six-digit welcome bonuses still on the market. I certainly expected these massive point offers to have dried up by now given the huge rebound in travel during 2022, but we continue to see huge bonus offers persist. That’s great news for card enthusiasts as it means that Greg still has a laundry list of excellent offers to highlight in October 2022.

Bottom Line Review: Hyatt Regency Cairo West – Regency Suite

Hyatt Regency Cairo West - Wedding being held at The Plaza
Wedding being held at The Plaza

Stephen got some rest and relaxation at the Hyatt Regency Cairo West during our 3 Cards 3 Continents challenge. It looks like the food and value here was pretty good, but after reading Stephen’s review of Marriott’s Mena House a while back, I think I probably wouldn’t consider the Regency unless I needed to be in the immediate area.

Which Premium Cards are Keepers?

a screenshot of a computer

People commonly wonder which of the high-fee cards they have carried are worth having and holding into the future. In this post, you’ll find a handy worksheet that you can use to decide which cards to keep and which to leave behind as well as plenty of information (and a real world example) to make using this resource as easy as possible.

First impressions of Nick’s European cruise on the Carnival Pride

a man taking a selfie in front of a cruise ship

While the Carnival Pride wasn’t the fanciest ship on the seas, the bottom line is that I enjoyed my experience far more than expected on my cruise from Rome to the Greek Isles and parts of Turkey and Italy. I’ll be publishing a more in-depth review, but this post gives you a look at the stops and some quick hits about why I walked away very satisfied. More to come.

Frequent Miler Event Schedule

cartoon of men in a car

Want to come see the Frequent Miler team live? There are a couple of upcoming opportunities (including the Chicago Seminars next weekend!) — but we’re also once again looking to travel to you with an FM to Go. Live events are fun both for the chance to connect with others interested in points and miles and to pick up tips and tricks (often from other attendees) that may be less often discussed. See this post for more detail about how to meet up.

Food tour of the Turkish business class lounge in Istanbul [Video]

a plate of food on a table

During the 3 Cards 3 Continents challenge, Greg and I both visited the awesome Turkish Airlines business class lounge in Istanbul. However, Greg had a big advantage: Maisie, the culinary concierge. They enjoyed a food tour of the lounge that will probably have you looking for Turkish Airlines availability for your next trip to/from Europe or beyond.

That’s it for this week at Frequent Miler. Don’t forget to get out this week’s last chance deals.

Want to learn more about miles and points? Subscribe to email updates or check out our podcast on your favorite podcast platform.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I disagree that the Amex Brilliant Marriott Platinum status is valuable for frequent Marriott-goers – since Platinum status is relatively easy to earn already. I would argue that it’s only worth it MAYBE for someone who stays between 10-20 nights per year. Any more than that and you could just get the boundless/Amex biz for the 30 elite nights, giving you the 50 night choice benefit as well as the Platinum status per year.

Last edited 1 year ago by Sam

The asprie card change to any night for a free certificate is huge news, and you can add it on to an existing reservation. I wish it was available online like say IHG were you can book it.


What’s the name of that eSIM carrier? I couldn’t decipher it and I tried several times, LOL.


I used eSIM Airalo in Spain this past spring. Guay Mobile 10 GB – 30 Days $18.Used phone calling thru WhatsApp which everyone uses in Spain. Never removed my Verison sim card and switched back to Verizon on my flight home with no problem, (this eSIM was a find by my son After we arrived and found out that I could not activate google Fi from outside USA unless I was active military, which I was not.


Venture X price match should prevent overpaying.. pain is the ass, sure. BUT is an option to ensure you get full value of credit.